Book of the Month

Happy Valentines Day, Emily Dickinson

 

   Oh, Emilie!

 

This poem---opon

a rose stem...fixed

may pose within--

or blossom yet...

 

From your eyes

may doubt leap---

never so close...

my conversion lies.

 

To our trysting place--

oh, Heavenly One...

thy hidden smile

thy wandering child.

 

 

Note: phrases and words written by Dickinson, as in "trysting place" and e.g., describing herself as a 
"wandering child".  Class poem, from seminar, obviously. 

 

 

Thanks for the infusion of Emily Dickinson. 
I wrote this tonight so I could post something for you.
 
-----------------------------------
 
I'm adrift in damp depression 
over moonbeams which don't shine for me.
each night is dark, and my porch swing still frozen in perpetuity.
my gloom is an amber shadow, which hides behind each flirting tree
and still  ... my violets await the Spring.
And so, I can not help but wonder ... 
and while I'm wondering, I sing.
 
Now, I know my voice has gotten raspy 
and my memory's lost a gigabyte or two,
but what I feel has sailed the oceans
and wrestled dragons (more than a few.).
my feelings scaled enormous mountains, and engaged in many a daring fling
Still, I can not help but wonder
and while I'm wondering, I sing.
 
Hope, my friend has perplexed many,
for it's just a feathered thing,
And while I haven't got a penny,
my violets still await the Spring.
 


 

Emilie and I thank you very much. Well done, Mr. Smith, well done. 

Absolutely love, "my feelings scaled enormous mountains, and engaged in many a daring fling".

Can't believe you wrote that of an evening. Keep going, man. 

Mr.  Smith, Oxy.. those are fantastic! Thanks for the terrific read to both of you.

Thanks, Tmac.

oh, oh emily....blush

 

 

Wild Nights – Wild Nights! (249)  
by Emily Dickinson
 

Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a heart in port –
Done with the compass –
Done with the chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah, the sea!
Might I moor – Tonight –
In thee!

 

 


Thanks, Emma. She was the treasure of the 19th Century. And for a life time she fought the pressures for religious conversion and practiced her art. Such an amazing person. 

There are certain moments that I would love to be able to go back in time and witness. One of them would the posthumous discovery of Emily Dickinson's poems by her sister.

 

I re-worked my improv of last night a bit ...

 

-----------------------------

 

I'm adrift in damp depression 
over moonbeams which don't shine for me
each darkened night, my porch swing's empty
and no-one sips my tea but me.
 
Gloom is an amber shadow,
which hides behind each flirting tree
and yet  ... in spite of all misgivings,
my violets still await the Spring.
And so, I can not help but wonder ... 
and while I'm wondering, I sing.
 
Now, I know my voice has gotten raspy 
and my memory's lost a thought or two,
but what I feel has sailed the oceans
and wrestled dragons (more than a few.).
my feelings scaled enormous mountains, and engaged in many a daring fling
Still, I can not help but wonder
and while I'm wondering, I sing.
 
Hope, my friend, has perplexed many,
Emily says it's a feathered thing,
But whether you've got too much or you haven't any,
my violets still await the Spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great poem, Mr. Smith. Yes, the moment of discovery must have been something. As I recall, some material was burned, I think it was Dickinson's request, but a large bundle was saved. Thomas Higginson figured prominently in her life and in the publication of "Poems", 1890. I read two biographies which are fascinating. One is "My Wars are laid away in books", Alfred Habeggar, really readable. 

I miss the rhyme of "perpetuity" and "tree". 

Yeah, I liked the perpetuity line, but I thought it didn't quite scan...  didn't someone once say something about being a writer means that sometimes you have to kill your babies?  

It's true and its the hardest part. Excellent poem, wasn't carping. 

Camille Paglia (a Dickinson scholar way before she was a pop culture commentator)  bitches about Dickinson's family (& Higgonson) screwing up her legacy, how they edited her stuff to be "namby pamby" acceptable to the times, basically castrating the real  "Amherst Madame DeSade," until the more accurate Harvard editions came out in the 1950's:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zEDCtyWEMY&feature=player_embedded

Yes, that's true, but ... then again, they could have burned all of them or, not realizing what they had, simply threw them away.  Thankfully, the later, comprehensive editions restored the poems to their original structure and put them into a reasonably accurate chronological order.

Thanks, Mr. Smith. I've been perusing the Habeggar biography and am thinking it's the other one I like better. Anyhow, they are both worth reading, especially the context of culture and religiosity in New England during the period. 

Right. She had an active emotional life with Higginson, Bowles, Wadsworth and Lord. Higginson was a journeyman poet and accomplished writer---but I don't think he fully understood her genius, as I guess no one could have had at that time. As Mr. Smith points out, the original poems were restored. Someone said a really tacky thing about her poetry, that it could all be sung to the tune of the "Yellow Rose of Texas". I fortunately came by an 1890 edition when it was affordable, and keep it in a small bookcase near by bedside. 

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